Dr. Boyce Watkins; R. Kelly Grand Marshall, Children’s Parade? Say What? : ThyBlackMan

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Dr. Boyce Watkins; R. Kelly Grand Marshall, Children’s Parade? Say What?

August 16, 2011 by  
Filed under Ent., Music, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) In one of the oddest events we’ve seen in a while, R. Kelly, the man who was accused of molesting a young girl, was asked to be the grand marshall of a children’s back-to-school parade.  The parade was the 82nd annual Bud Billiken Parade,  held in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago.   It is the largest and oldest African American parade in the country.

R. Kelly (aka. Robert Sylvester Kelly) was first known to have a penchant for underage women when he married 15-year old singer Aaliyah.  This was right after he wrote the song,  ”Age Ain’t Nothin’ But a Number.”

There is also the famous sex tape showing R. Kelly having sex with an underage girl.  He says it’s not him, but millions who have seen the tape would dare to disagree.  I’m sure his fans know what he looks like.

Even more interesting is the fact that R. Kelly has recently admitted that he can’t read.  Now, I don’t know if he’s taking classes to become a better reader, or is simply paying someone to read for him.  But we do know for a fact that the man allowed himself to grow past the age of 30 without attempting to possess any of the skills that these young children are expected to obtain when school starts back this month.

Perhaps Mr. Kelly wasn’t the best choice for Grand Marshall of this parade.

Wait a second…perhaps the head of the parade and the entire planning committee needs to fired immediately.  Who in the hell thought that having a man like R. Kelly lead a parade for young children would be a good idea?  Yes, R. Kelly miraculously beat his child pornography charge, but being found not guilty is not the same as being proven innocent.

The decision to make R. Kelly the head of a parade for  young children is a revealing and uncomfortable manifestation of just how skewed our values have become.  The only thing that matters to some of us is that a person is rich and famous.  We care almost nothing about character, integrity or whether that individual serves as a good role model.  All that matter is that “he be jamming on the radio.”

The fact that R. Kelly is such a talented singer is what led to many Chicago radio stations reneging on their pledge to keep his music off the airwaves during his trial.  But I am reminded of a conversation I had with an executive at a Chicago station, who simply admitted that he doesn’t care what R. Kelly did to young girls.  Kelly’s talent seemed to make it worthwhile to support a man who may have ruined countless young lives throughout the course of his career.  I also recall BET, the same year, giving R. Kelly an award and making him their keynote performer at their awards ceremony.

The verdict is clear:  Allegations of the molestation of young black women are easily forgiven if the perpetrator is rich, famous or extremely talented.  In other cases, we might choose to be mad at the assailant, but only for a little while.  Perhaps we should simply sell our children to the highest bidder, since protecting them is clearly an inconvenience when we’re trying to get our groove on at the club.

Now, we sit back and wonder why millions of our kids go to school disinterested in the boring pursuit of success and education.  Instead, they go to school to learn how to become singers, rappers and athletes.  They pursue the dreams of celebrity life being fed to them on Vh-1 each night by Basketball Wives and the Real Housewives of Atlanta, because they know that wealth and power exempts you from accountability for any sin you may commit.  The poor choices of our children are a clear reflection of the idiocy they’ve inherited from the adults all around them.

My child would never attend a parade with R. Kelly as its Grand Marshall.  I’m sure that many of the good people on the South Side of Chicago also agree.  The last thing a city with so much youth violence needs is for an accused child molester to be given ready access to our young children.  R. Kelly is nobody’s role model.

Staff Writer; Dr. Boyce Watkins

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition. For more information, please visit http://BoyceWatkins.com.


5 Responses to “Dr. Boyce Watkins; R. Kelly Grand Marshall, Children’s Parade? Say What?”
  1. Comon says:

    Nobody is perfect including you!! R Kelly is the king of rnb, he is a multi takented producer, singer & song writter. He is a role model & has inspired millions of kids to become musicians some of which are proffesional singers today .i.e. Trey Songs!!!
    You propably cheated on assignments to get your doctrate so dont judge!!!

  2. Dell Gines says:

    Get at them Dr. Boyce. Another good article. If we don’t police ourselves nobody else will.

  3. Xhyphennegro says:

    R. Kelly was @ the Parade? … plenty of criminals, gangsters, and state sanctioned sages was at the Bud Billiken Parade. (The actual Grand Marshall Rahm Israel Emanuel was there). We cannot afford the luxury to simply get caught up in the sidetracking of the slave. I was at the parade, and I was fortunate to come into contact with so many courageous forces; forces who provide fine examples of resistance as well as that of potential freedom fighters.

  4. Gregory Williams says:

    Dr. Boyce Watkins,

    You are entitled to your opinion but you do not speak for everybody. If i lived in Chicago I would jump at the opportunity to see Robert Kelly in a parade. One the saying goes innocent until proven guilty. Second the man is human just like myself and you. If we had unbelievable talent and our lives were under a constant microscope I am sure they would be able to find fault with it and harp on it as well. In the great city of Chicago, you have much bigger issues such as poverty, gang violence, police safety and the struggling economy than to continue to try to kick a African american man that is trying to do something positive in the community that he is from. For the record my wife and I are both college educated when two small boys and yes we all love Robert Kelly.

  5. wer says:

    “Instead, they go to school to learn how to become singers, rappers and athletes.”

    That’s not true. Kids don’t just learn how to become singers and athletes. It takes talents and passion.

    By the way, you’re late; this event took place 4 days ago.

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